On this day last year I packed my bags, jumped on a one-way flight to New York and immediately began living a high-fashion super glamorous life.
HA–not at all, but due to Gossip Girl, Sex and the City and nearly every Romcom, that’s often the thought.
As Frank Sinatra reminds us about the city, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” He sang these words for a reason; it’s not easy. Considering a move to the Big Apple? I’ve listed the realities I faced a year ago that were never featured on TV. Let’s start with LaGuardia…
Reality will probably sink in as soon as you hop off your flight and notice that you are in one of the three worst airports in the country. Seriously, Conde Nast ranked the 10 worst airports in the US and the results are as follows: #3 – JFK, #2 – Newark and #1 – LaGuardia. Not a single decent option.
If you’re lucky like me, you will be landing into the luxurious LaGuardia Airport, an extremely modern place that still doesn’t have escalators or Starbucks. Because carrying your rolling luggage up and down the stairs builds killer arm muscles…and who really drinks coffee while traveling any more? You may want to run to the restroom like a normal person but oops! What’s this gigantic line? Turns out there are only two stalls per bathroom despite the massive number of people traveling in and out of New York. Who would’ve thunk there’d be a need for more than two?!
My advice: Ask for coffee on your flight and get out of there…fast!
2. APARTMENT HUNTING
Breath in. Breath out. Repeat. You will quickly realize that nothing makes sense about the New York apartment hunting process. NOTHING. THERE IS NO LOGIC INVOLVED.
Why am I paying a broker? Who is this broker and what has he/she done to deserve my money? Why aren’t there any windows? Is that a bed in the kitchen? Is it really considered a 3-bedroom apartment if a fourth roommate is living in the closet? Wait, why is there a showerhead above the toilet? OH that’s because the toilet’s in the shower? Who invented the first railroad apartment and why hasn’t he/she been arrested? Why is Craigslist my most reliable resource? People don’t actually live here, do they?
My advice: Meditate, pray, chant. You honestly need some kind of higher presence to get through this difficult period because apartment hunting sucks for everyone–there’s just no way around it. And yes, Craigslist is actually reliable. I was able to find a wonderful apartment without paying a broker’s fee so be patient and believe!
Not to crush your dreams, but you will not be jumping in and out of cabs for each and every commute. You will be like the rest of us 8.5 million who are swiping into the New York subway system. They try to convince us that MTA stands for Metropolitan Transportation Authority but you’ll quickly learn that it stands for Making Travelers Agitated. Nope, no one knows when the next train will be arriving and yes, those are rats scurrying around. Weekends mean your train is either going local, overcrowded or simply not running. And if you don’t care to be squished between two armpits, avoid the 1, 2, 3 and 6 trains at all times. Wish you could pass the time by scrolling through Instagram? Good luck with your 4G reception!
My advice: Invest in an unlimited pass and a whole lot of patience. Become familiar with the different train lines so you’ll know how to get anywhere in the city, even when your train is out of whack. Also, be sure to always have a good book or playlist on hand.
Do I really need to say much about the weather after this weekend’s Winter Storm Jonas? If you’re coming from a warm state like me, prepare for real winter.
My advice: Buy a winter coat, boots, a winter hat, a scarf, leg warmers, gloves and a Netflix subscription. Constantly whining about how cold you feel is a dead give away that you’re not from here (don’t worry, I do this ALL the time). Don’t forget, fall is cuffing season for a reason. Which leads me to next point…
Remember in all the movies how people met insanely attractive people on a regular basis while riding the train, waltzing through the park, or sipping their mocha latte in the coffee shop? Maybe that’s how meeting people used to work but now it’s like this:
Dating apps galore: Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, Match–these are the tools used to meet fellow New Yorkers. Or maybe just no one’s approaching me in real life…
My advice: Either cave in and download all these apps or be courageous enough to approach him/her the old-fashioned way.
Did I scare you? By now you should know that I have dry-as-toast humor and that while I this post sounds like I hate New York, I actually don’t. Well…depends on the day. I promise to do a follow up post about all the reasons I love the city. If you’re planning a move to New York you’re in for a rewarding life experience filled with a lot of frustration, excitement, laughter and energy. As cheesy as it sounds, you learn so much about yourself and others.
Comment below if you have any tips on how to survive a move to the Big Apple or have questions about moving to New York!